Why notifying customers about scheduled maintenance is important for your store?

Imagine if you are navigating in an online store and unexpectedly different errors appear on the page. Or even worse, you are processing an order and you cannot finalize it. All these are possible scenarios that can happen with an online store if it is not maintained in a proper way. This is why, it is always a good idea to notify your customers when doing a scheduled maintenance in your online store. If you are running an OpenCart store, then you can easily do this by activating the maintenance mode.

Maintenance mode in OpenCart can be enabled/disabled from System > Settings > YourStore [Edit] > Server > Maintenance Mode.

When the maintenance mode is enabled, your customers are prevented from browsing your store. Instead they will see a simple maintenance mode message as shown in the image below.

The default OpenCart maintenance mode works perfectly when you want to notify your customers for a scheduled maintenance. However, if you want to come up with a fancy customized maintenance mode page you need to have at least basic coding skills and free time for experiments. That is why, we created the module MaintenanceMode+ - fully customizable maintenance mode page. The module gives you the ability to add your store logo, add custom messages, include your store address and social networks as well as collect customer emails and notify them automatically once your store is back online. 

Following the rest of the article, we will present some of the cool features of MaintenanceMode+ module.

Personalized background and logo

MaintenanceMode+ allows you to set custom background and logo for your maintenance page. This gives you flexibility to choose different background style when running different scheduled maintenance types. Additionally, you can make different customizations using custom CSS field.

 

Keep your customers aware

With MaintenanceMode+ you can customize the message that is shown in the maintenance mode page. If you are running a diverse language store you can show this message in all possible languages. What's more, due to its multi store support the module allows you to enable the custom page in all of the stores you are maintaining.

 

Leads to a closer contact with customers

Through a user-friendly admin panel you can configure the module in order to create a stylish maintenance page. In the “About us” section in admin panel, MaintenaceMode+ allows you to enter: Address, Email and Phone. In this way, if a customer is interested  in your store he will have all the possible information how to reach you. Enter your store address, if you are also running a physical store. Your potential clients can visit your store, call you or simply sent you an email if they are interested in your store.  Moreover, to get closer with the social networks MaintenanceMode+ module allows you to show in the maintenance page these social networks profiles: Facebook,Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Youtube and Tumblr. 

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Offers email subscription for customers

An important functionality that MaintenanceMode+ module gives is the email subscription. Every customer that comes into your page can subscribe for getting notified once the store is live again. As a store owner you will have all the contacts of the potential customers and send them email to notify when the store will be alive. In this way, the interested customers will know when to come back to your site. 

Helps for your SEO rankings

MaintenanceMode+ takes care of your SEO rankings as well. As recommended by Google, MaintenaceMode+ is using the 503 service unavailable result code, which tells search engine crawlers that the downtime is temporary. Just enable the Send header code (503) option in the MaintenanceMode+ and your site reputation will not be negatively affected.
Furthermore, you can tell the search engines when to return back by using the optional field Retry-After header. This header is used to indicate when the store is expected to be available. In this way, when the store is again alive the search engines can come back to index it. 

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In conclusion

Any ecommerce, blog or web store should by now understand the vast importance of keeping their web store visitors informed about any changes happening with the store, being a major redesign, change or introducing of new functionality or just temporary shutting down the store for scheduled maintenance. If you are an OpenCart store owner you can make use of this handy functionality and switch on/off the mode from the admin. If you would like, however, to go beyond the bland default message help your store with SEO and give your visitors more versatility then you can check MaintenenceMode+

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